Minecraft Science: Infinite Water Sources

Everyone’s heard of them before. Most people even use them regularly. They’re such a commonly accepted part of Minecraft, that no one takes the time to find out the magic behind it all. I, however, am here to change that. So, Minecrafters, what exactly makes these infinite water sources work?

Well, first of all, if you’re going to understand the way they work, you’re going to have to know how to make one. There are a number of different implementations that I have discovered.

The most common is a 2x2x1 water pool. It is made by filling the two diagonals of the pool with water.

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Another common form is the 3x1x1 pool. It is made by filling the two opposite ends with water. However, in this one, you can only take water from the middle block and I will tell you why in just a bit.

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So, now that you know how, you must want to know why. No? Too bad, I’ll tell you anyway!

Well, go to your nearest large deep body of water, swim out a few blocks, and get a bucketful of water. Notice that, when you take it, the water does not reset itself and there is now a whirlpool type formation in the water.

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Now take a bucketful from the edge of the water (at the shore!). Notice that, this time, it DOES reset.

This is because water will only become a source block if it meets two circumstances:

  • It is 1 square deep.
  • It is touching 2 other source blocks (at minimum).

Now, taking this theory, let’s examine the 2x2x1 pool of infinite water.

Notice the water is only 1 deep, which meets the first criteria, and, that on any square of water, it is touching at least 2 source blocks. This meets the second criteria. Thus, you have a functional Infinite water supply.

Let’s now examine the 3x1x1 pool.

It is only 1 deep, so that is okay. However, the two ends of the pool are touched by a source block on only 1 side! This means, if you take a bucket of water from these sides, it will not reset to a source block. The middle square, however, is touched by 2 source blocks. This means, if you take a bucket, it WILL reset to a source block. That makes this a functional infinite water source; even if it isn’t the most efficient.

Now, those are not the only water sources that are infinite. If, near your base, you have a 1 deep lake or pond or whatever you may refer to it as, it is going to work as an infinite source.

This also means you could build your own infinite water source that is larger.

As an example, I have made a 5x3x1 water pool which is functional at all blocks as an infinite water source. This is because all water blocks are touched by at least 2 other source blocks allowing it to become a source block itself.

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Also, I made a 7x1x1 pool which is functional on all blocks except the very end two, which are only touched on 1 side by a source block. This works similarly to the 3x1x1 pool.

Posted Image

And there you have it, folks! The science to the mighty infinite water source has been unveiled! (Not that it was much of a secret to begin with!)


I'm a writer and a programmer. In my off time, I also play video games quite often.

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    on: July 18, 2011 . Reply

    Very intresting. I think Minecraft is much more scientific than we last thought!

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    on: August 16, 2011 . Reply

    This article is interesting. Most people just take it for granted but it’s actually quite cool how it works :)

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